Two weeks ago, I was invited by the Ohio Dance Theatre to a Social Media Night that highlighted their upcoming performance of “The Nutcracker.”
It was an amazing opportunity to get an up close viewing of five of the dancers from the show and learn more about how they actually rehearse in their home studio and then load everything onto a 75′ truck to their performance destination, the Stocker Arts Center.
102 costumes, 6 masks, a cannon, staircase, serving cart, a Christmas tree with ornaments that grows to 24 feet, three theatrical drops, numerous props including riffles, swords, toys; a steamer to press costumes, sewing machine for repairs and rosen to prevent dancers from slipping on the stage. Everything loaded up and transferred on Tuesday before their first performance on Friday. It’s mind boggling to even think about the planning that goes into making it happen!
I was able to have a great conversation with Becca who was so personable and shared more about her background and previous dance experience. She spent a year in Israel for an apprenticeship. An fantastic opportunity for a fantastic ballerina.
Besides the traditional Nutcracker performances, my favorite was from the Spanish variation. I loved the music that accompanied this piece.
These ladies show such dedication to their profession. I loved learning more about their performance in such a behind the scenes approach.
Sunday was the day of the performance I was treating the girls to. A special girls only activity and their first time to see “The Nutcracker.”
It was so bizarre to be headed out to a Christmas activity in 55 degree weather. Such a great afternoon!
The first scene from the first act. Our seats were center stage and in the seventh row. Absolutely perfect.
My favorite photo from Sunday’s performance during the fight between fire and ice. Gorgeous dancers in front of a stunning backdrop. The girls both gasped when it began snowing on the stage. Just magical.
A lovely mother and her teenage daughter were sitting to one side of us and we enjoyed talking with them during intermission. They enjoyed watching the girls watch the performance as it reminded them of earlier times coming together when the daughter was the same age.
Ironically, the mother mentioned that when the daughter was three and four years old, she fell asleep during the performance. And then look what happened, my three year old did the same exact thing.
The true highlight of the performance was near the end of the second act which starred Daniel Ulbricht, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. I was awestruck by him and his partner. Daniel was able to complete so many turns in the air that I was left wondering how someone learns how to do something like that.
The finale was magical in that you were able to see each group of dancers again and they were all on stage at once.
And, of course, the ending was absolutely enchanting.
As soon as the curtain closed, Leighton asked when she could see it again. When I told her next Christmas, she noted that that was too long to wait.
I have to agree.
I was provided tickets to “The Nutcracker” by Ohio Dance Theatre in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.